"Google Photos... a visual equivalent to Gmail" --- I rather like this rationale.
Sounds like Bradley Horowitz has finally arrived where he wanted to be product-wise (and has pushed since launch... to the consternation of some of us... #waronwords
) in the first place: The photo-side of G+.
It also sounds like they did their homework (this time...) on #Privacy
issues surrounding a vast personal photo database.*As for the questions surrounding Google+, he got into a fair bit of detail in the interview. Potentially significant changes*
appear in the offing (some minor [...] inline commentary by me):
"...Google Photos faces extraordinary competition from the likes of Apple, Flickr, and any number of storage services, but the company has diligently leveraged its strengths to produce a product it hopes users will view as a visual equivalent to Gmail: a standalone free service with a premium option for more, super high res, storage.
[Bradley Horowitz:] We aspire to do for photo management what Gmail did for email management. Gmail wasn’t the first email service. But it offered a different paradigm of how one managed one’s inbox. We want to do that for photo management: To give you enough storage so you can relax and not worry about how much photo bandwidth you’re consuming, and enough organizing power so you don’t have to think about the tedium of managing your digital gallery.
Let’s talk about Google Plus, which you’ve been involved with since its beginning. Where is it going?
Three and a half years into this journey, we’re looking at what the users are telling us Google Plus is good for, and doubling down on those uses. For instance, one particular use-case on Google Plus is people aligning around common interests.
If I’m interested in astronomy and I want to meet other people interested in astronomy, we think we have a good solution — Collections, a new feature that we launched just two weeks ago. It’s the first in a series of pivots. We’re also *moving aside the things that either belong as independent products, like photos, or eliminating things that we think aren’t working.*
What things aren’t going to be there anymore?
I’m not going to divulge the product plans. You can *connect a couple of the dots yourself and understand what is working and what isn’t working.*
Let’s get back to Collections — can you describe the product?
It’s basically the ability for me to post topically. ...
Is it fair to say Google is distancing itself from the original concept of Plus?*It’s fair to say you’re about to see a huge shift in what Plus is becoming. It’s a shift in response to what users are telling us.*
That’s a very healthy and natural thing. As opposed to sticking to strategies of years ago, we’re actually adapting to how the product is successful in market and doubling-down on that.
Have you ever thought of dropping the name “Plus”?
I’m not sure what that would accomplish. It hasn’t seriously crossed my mind. *I think there are product pivots and refinements to what that product actually is. We have been less than clear about who that product is good for and who that product is for and what it’s good for.*
I think you’re seeing us crisp that up and actually have a much better articulated value proposition so that that becomes very evident to users: what, when and why to use this product.
[my commentary: that feels terribly LATE in the game given that G+ is nearly 4 years old now...]
How successful was Google Plus in understanding who was using Google in general?
It’s created a huge amount of value in creating common identity for users. The Google of 10 years ago was many separate, silo-ed identity and sharing systems. I think we have been successful in unifying that experience for users. And anytime you see a name or a face on Google, our team provides the infrastructure.
(PR Person:) Can you just say it? Say that Google Plus is not dead, please.
OK, let me ask you — is Google Plus dead?
No, Google Plus is not dead. In fact, *it’s got more signs of life than it’s had in some time.*
Hmmm... "more signs of life" would imply that it in fact has BEEN in a semi-dead, as I've long called it, "zombified" state... let's hope these next steps reinvigorate rather than palliate... #io15
/cc +John Blossom +Eli Fennell +Max Huijgen +Ana Hoffman +Shaker Cherukuri +Steve Faktor +Gideon Rosenblatt +Walter H Groth +M Sinclair Stevens +Lev Osherovich +Paul Simbeck-Hampson +Sandy Fischler